|John Proctor, A Reflection
Author: Hermitt PM
A monologue. John Proctor is awaiting his death in his cell and coming to terms with his actions and their consequences. Read and review! T for the tiniest bit of foul-ish language.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Tragedy - Words: 1,188 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 05-08-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8097108
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This story is not affiliated with or endorsed by Arthur Miller or any of his publishers or licensees. It does not imply or claim any rights to his characters or creations.
This is going off the assumption that John Proctor had a moment longer in his cell after refusing to blacken his name by false confessing. He is about to go and hang.
[JOHN PROCTOR slumps in his rags against the wall of his dark, dank cell, chained to the wall. His shoulders have fallen and his back in hunched, though his arm rests on one upright knee almost unconsciously as though trying to retain some last form of uprightness. His head falls back against the damp wall and he releases a heavy sigh, his eyes searching out the tiny window at the top of the wall in his tiny dungeon room.]
Proctor [sighs heavily and absentmindedly murmurs to himself]: Dark have been my dreams of late, I can hardly shut my eyes without the guilt of a dishonest man pressing upon me. God has forsaken me in this Hell, this village called Salem. I told them, I told them! Vengeance walks these streets, the vengeance of the girl what turned from God. The whore! The whore who tempted me! But it be fraud that I say the temptation 'tis all her fault. I cannot beguile myself, for I have committed a heinous sin. And now my body lies here as my soul is left to the ravens of Hell tearing all my goodness up in what awaits me. There I will no longer have any touch of light or goodness or know of my wife or my sons.
[PROCTOR, as though finally realising something, buries his face in his hands and groans softly.]
My sons, I shall never see my wife full to the brim with our child nor watch my sons grow to be young men, tall and proud. Proud. [He pauses and squeezes his eyes shut.] My sons know no pride in their father if he blackens his face to the reddish work of Salem. I'd as lief cut out my own heart than go about with no name. Oh, Danforth, you are the one befouled with Hell! Your heart is black as coal. I say the only anti-Christ in this town is the townsfolk what turned on each other, contentious in their pursuit of so-called justice. Elizabeth, my wife, my woman, I have satisfaction seeing the faces of saints like Goody Nurse looking upon me with respect and pride as I refuse to condemn them. Pride may keep me silent, but God damns liars, and I can lie no more. Nor lie for my sin of adultery. It stares me in the face with its ever-waking eyes, the damning gaze of Lucifer and the prideful, arrogant eyes of the judges and of Abigail, reminding me of my own work blackening my name. My allegiance is to Elizabeth, Devil! I love Elizabeth!
[He bangs his head backwards against the wall and clenches his hands into fists, hitting them onto the harsh floor.]
My lust! My lust for the devil-child what stole my good honesty. I pray forgive me, Elizabeth, forgive me. You want me to live, but by my life I will not false confess. You comprehend, don't you, dearest?
[He speaks with slight delirium as though he can see the apparition of his wife in his cell, his eyes glued somewhere half between the wall and directly in front of him.]
This is my last. I stand by my decision to rip the affidavit what they put in my face. There be evil work in this town, but you, Elizabeth, remain the goodness and keep it bright, still. I pray for our unborn child, for his life in this place of blackness and sorrow; I pray for a future where his life is not in peril every waking hour. Forgive me, Elizabeth, forgive me. It was by my own weakness and fault I fell to the likes of Abigail Williams. You admit you had a hand in my infidelity, though it were a shock to me, to be sure. You should be bereft of blame, Elizabeth, you who is so good and righteous and honest all her life. I meant to please you, Elizabeth, I meant to please you. I thought to confess to the devil; I would have saved my life to have but a little longer upon this earth. I would have lied, I would have lied. I would have lied had it not cost me my name.
[He sighs so heavily he goes limp upon exhalation. He is silent for a time as his eyes have lowered and he stares blankly at his filthy boots and allows his thoughts to deepen by the moment. A sharp sound from somewhere above awakens his misty eyes and causes his chin to rise from his chest but a small amount in passing, feeble curiosity. After a moment listening, JOHN PROCTOR adjusts himself to a more respectable position upon the floor, as much as he can manage, and begins mumbling to himself as his walk to the gibbet draws ever closer.]
What say you, John Proctor? [To himself.] You are not worth the dirt on the bottom of the feet of those that hang, but you have your goodness now, you have your name, you have one last touch of your wife. Will you go now? Will you face the judgement in Heaven for your sins upon this earth?
[He sighs and closes his eyes. A tear slips out the corner of one of his eyes.]
For all your meddling in this town, Devil, you will not meddle with the faith of those what hang, nor me or my good wife and sons. Befouled with Hell this town may be, but Lucifer will not continue his reddish work. Black be the faces of the townsfolk, but by their lives the Christ in Heaven this madness will stop! This black lie with stop! This hellfire raging throughout this town shall stop! But may the power of Christ keep all that is good and honest in this world safe from any more harm; lead the church right. Keep my family safe, good, honest, and with such a name.
[JOHN PROCTOR's eyes shoot to the door as it swings open and the warden comes in to take him to the gibbet. His head is high and his back is straight, his figure is tall and his eyes stony as he walks out the door and into the last light he will ever see.]
So John's kind of depressing, right? But good on him in the end :) And my dears, there is the result of not having finished reading the play. I would have! But I missed a lesson, then was reading another book before I caught up and before I knew it the thing was written, I hadn't finished the play, but I got an A anyway!
And my rhyming skills never cease to amaze me!